At the time, martial arts training hall or "dojo" owner Soun Tendo thought engaging one of his three daughters to Ranma - the son of longtime friend and training partner Genma Saotome - was a good idea, but that was before "he" turned out to be a "she"! Youngest Tendo daughter Akane (who's always claimed to "hate boys" anyway) is quickly nominated for bridal duty by her older sisters, while an unruly Ranma (who never wants to do anything his dad says on general principle) must come to grips with the mixed blessing of his/her own appeal... to both boys and girls.
The first season of Ranma1/2! Available for the first time on DVD!
The 18 episodes that comprise the first broadcast season of Ranma
offer an appropriately zany introduction to the popular transgender martial arts comedy. These episodes form a single extended narrative, unlike the OVA installments, which can be watched in any order. The pacing is a little slower, the violent martial arts encounters are more clearly staged, and there's more nudity, but the mixture of slapstick humor and reluctant sentiment remains the same. When the Saotomes join the dojo-home of the Tendo family, fathers Genma and Suon decide son Ranma and daughter Akane are engaged, despite the participants' objections. Ranma and Genma have to explain why they turn into a girl and a panda when hit with cold water--the result of a disastrous visit to the cursed springs of Jusenkyo. Before they can establish any semblance of domestic tranquility, the geographically challenged Ryoga arrives to continue a quarrel with Ranma that dates back to junior high school. It's taken him this long to find Furinkan High. Kuno, the school kendo champion and windbag, discovers he's as smitten with Ranma's female form as he is with Akane, while his loudmouth sister Kodachi falls for Ranma as a male. Shampoo the Chinese Amazon is equally dedicated to killing girl-type Ranma and marrying boy-type Ranma. When the overwrought Suon Tendo tells Genma, "With you and your son in the house, there's never a dull moment," he makes a rare understatement. Not rated; suitable for ages 12 and up: Slapstick violence, nudity, mildly risqué humor. --Charles Solomon